Student Visas Are Way Down, But the Decline Began Under Obama

The Wall Street Journal reports that student visas were way down last year:

The number of visas issued to foreign students fell markedly last year amid stricter immigration policies, State Department data show….Some of the slide can be attributed to stepped-up competition from schools in other countries and less support for foreign study by some governments. But immigration attorneys and school officials say Trump administration policies are making the U.S. a tougher destination for foreigners and point to stricter scrutiny of those who do apply.

I am, needless to say, ready to believe this, but State Department data (here and here) doesn’t really back it up:

I don’t know what happened in 2016, but that was when the biggest drop occurred—and it happened on President Obama’s watch. The decline continued during President Trump’s first year, but at a lower pace.

Why did the Obama administration reduce student visas by 27 percent in its final year? Or were there simply fewer applicants? The 2016 figures were released after Trump’s inauguration, so all the stories about it were Trump-centric. But the decline itself happened while Obama was still president. What’s the explanation?

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate